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“HB 2492’s onerous documentary proof of citizenship requirement for certain federal elections constitutes a textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act,” in addition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a press call Tuesday.
The law is set to take effect in January, despite a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Arizona couldn’t require voters using the federal voter registration form to provide proof of citizenship. The high court did allow Arizona to continue allowing proof of citizenship for state elections.
Under the new law, the roughly 31,000 people in Arizona who are currently federal-only voters would have to show proof of citizenship to continue participating in elections. Arizonans who registered to vote before 1996 in the state, before proof of citizenship was required to get a driver’s license, and who have not updated their voter registration would also have to provide documentary evidence.
Surveys show that between 5 and 7 percent of Americans lack one of the documents required under the law to prove their citizenship. People who are more likely to be born outside a hospital, like Native Americans, are also less likely to have access to the necessary documents.
Lawyers for the Arizona Legislature have said that the new law is unconstitutional given how it affects federal elections and is in direct violation of the Supreme Court’s 2013 opinion. By bringing the law back this year, Arizona was setting itself up for a legal challenge likely to end up before the now more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
Several non-profit and legal groups including the Campaign Legal Center and Arizona-based organizations have already brought a challenge to the law in court.
The new Arizona law also requires that voters provide their place of birth on their voter registration form and instructs election officials to reject applications that fail to list a place of birth. Clarke said that requirement is unlawful and immaterial because many U.S. citizens are born outside the country but are naturalized later in life.
Arizona is currently the only state that requires voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote.
Arizona Republican Rep. Jake Hoffman, who sponsored HB 2492, was one of 11 people in Arizona and 84 across the country to serve as a fake elector for former President Donald Trump. He has supported Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen because of voter fraud.
The lawsuit marks the first enforcement action filed by the DOJ’s voting section since March 2022, when the agency sued Galveston County, Texas, over the county’s redistricting plan, which the agency said violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it doesn’t give Black and Hispanic voters an equal opportunity to participate and elect their candidates of choice.
The new lawsuit is also the first voting enforcement agency taken by the agency under President Joe Biden that alleges violations of the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the motor voter law, which was enacted in 1993 in order to set requirements for voter registration for federal elections.
Since the 2020 election, Republican states have enacted dozens of restrictive voting laws that target who can register and cast a ballot. Clarke said Tuesday that the DOJ is determined to continue fighting unconstitutional voting laws.
“This lawsuit reflects our deep commitment to using every available tool to protect every American’s right to vote and to ensure their voices are heard in our democracy,” she said.
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On Tuesday's edition of MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow walked through the new teaser footage for British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder's depiction of former President Donald Trump's family throughout the plot to steal the 2020 election — and what it says about how Trump operates.
"What do we think the panel might glean from what appears from the trailer like a promotional video for the family coup?" asked anchor Nicolle Wallace.
"I'm not sure what evidence will be in this video that would be useful to either the January 6th committee or even to the people investigating Georgia, but what it is, is revelatory once again about the family, about Trump and his family, which is that this is a man who has spent his entire life manipulating media," said Blow. "If you were a citizen of New York City for a long time, that's what Trump did, right? But it was the gossip pages or inflating income on a financial basis and making the list. He was able to manipulate or he would have a pseudonym and call in and pretend he was someone else on behalf of the Trump Organization. That's what he did."
Blow then delved further into what this behavior reveals about the former president's psyche.
"You know, it strikes people sometimes that, why would he do this?" said Blow. "He keeps doing it because he still believes that he has the charm, he has the ability to manipulate. He has sat for interviews for books. They were not flattering because they told the truth. And when he comes out and says, well, these people are horrible, and they lied, and it's not what I want and not what I meant, he still believes that he is the king of this. He's the king of distortion. He's the king of manipulation. He's the king of people in those interactions. He sees that as a struggle and a battle, and he always believes that if he sits across from someone, he will eventually win. It's just that it doesn't work. The cameras capture what the cameras capture. The pens capture what the pens capture. You say it, we write it down. That's how it's going to work, and you're not going to be able to go out with every viewing or with every book and explain that that's not what you said or what you meant because, in fact, it has been captured."
Charles Blow says Trump specializes in "manipulating media" www.youtube.com
New York Justice Arthur F. Engoron has imposed a daily $10,000 fine on real estate giant Cushman and Wakefield for failing to turn over documents to state investigators examining in Donald Trump inflated the value of his real estate holdings.
"On Tuesday afternoon, a clearly irked Justice Arthur F. Engoron signed an order ripping into the real estate behemoth for missing a deadline to turn over documents—after having two months to meet it," The Daily Beast reported. "He criticized the company, which routinely helped Trump value properties in ways that benefited him directly, for dragging its feet."
In April, the same judge ruled that Cushman & Wakefield lied and broke its own internal policies to help the Trump Organization.
"The massive, national real estate firm was supposed to deliver documents related to its valuations of all kinds of properties—so that state investigators could compare how the company treated other projects compared to Trump developments," The Beast reported. "The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas between September 2021 and February 2022 that the firm still hadn’t complied with, so the judge ordered the company to play ball in April. But the firm fought that in appellate court—and lost."
The company had failed to comply with a June 29 deadline set by the judge.
"Time is of the essence. State investigators are set to interview former President Donald Trump and two of his children—Don Jr. and Ivanka—in closed-door depositions the week of July 18. And investigators have said they need to review the evidence from Cushman and Wakefield before those interviews," The Beast noted.
Read the full report.